All posts in “Falcon 9”

SpaceX lands Falcon 9 booster on Just Read The Instructions drone ship

SpaceX confirmed on Twitter this morning that it recovered the booster from the latest Falcon 9 launch. Shortly after launching from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Southern California at 7:39AM ET this morning, the booster stage landed on the Just Read The Instructions drone ship. The company will now try to catch the rocket’s fairing with a giant net attached to the ship Mr. Stevens.

SpaceX has become more adept at landing its booster rockets but it’s still a spectacle every time it happens. This landing is extra special as the winds were gusting around the time of the launch.

The rocket company has so far been less successful with catching the payload shrouds. SpaceX’s high-speed recovery boat Mr. Steven took to the seas this time around with a larger net in the hopes of recovering the fairings. Reusing as much as possible is critical to SpaceX’s mission to lower the cost of space flight.

Today’s launch was SpaceX’s seventh mission for the company’s client Iridium who contracted with SpaceX to launch 75 satellites into orbit. According to SpaceX, today’s payload of Iridium satellites so far deployed without an issue. SpaceX is contracted for one more launch with Iridium.


Watch SpaceX launch NASA’s latest exoplanet-hunting satellite

SpaceX is set to launch a Falcon 9 rocket today during a 30 second window at 6:32pm EDT. Onboard is NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) designed to find exoplanets. SpaceX said this morning there’s an 80 percent chance of launching today. Following the launch, SpaceX will attempt to recover the Falcon 9 rocket and nose cone by landing the rocket on a drone ship and using parachutes to slow down fairings before they hit Atlantic. SpaceX’s high-speed net boat Mr. Stevens is still in the Pacific.

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The livestream is set to begin at 6:00pm EDT.

The satellite onboard uses four cameras to hunt for exoplanets around stars. They measure tiny dips in a star’s brightness that could indicate a planetary body passing in front of the camera’s line of sight. This is called a transit. Mission officials have said that this satellite will likely find thousands of worlds during its two-year mission.

The Falcon 9 used in today’s mission has never been launched before though if it lands successfully, it will be reportedly used in a future mission. This rocket is also the final block 4 version before Tesla starts using block 5 versions with upgraded engines and improvements to increase the reusability of the rocket.

SpaceX rocket lands in swimming pool — in Apple ARKit-powered augmented reality

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We’ve seen Elon Musk’s Tesla being virtually driven in augmented reality, so it’s only right that we also get a look at his SpaceX rockets in the amazing platform. 

Another person experimenting with Apple’s ARKit showed off the Falcon 9 rocket returning from space and landing on a drone platform not at sea, but in the middle of his swimming pool in his backyard. From the sound effects to the shadows and perspective, it looks surprisingly real. 

Yes, people are getting a little crazy with all these ARKit demos, but this one is too exciting to write off as just a cool AR trick. This looks like the future of AR, and we’re just getting started. 

Watch the exact moment SpaceX made history by landing a reused rocket

SpaceX made history last week, and now you can relive that historic moment over and over.

We already know that Elon Musk’s SpaceX successfully launched and landed a reused rocket, the first time in history that’s been done, and we know — to paraphrase Joe Biden — it’s a big freaking deal

Now, you can re-watch every second of the groundbreaking landing — from three different camera angles — courtesy of this video that SpaceX posted on its Instagram late Tuesday night. 

No matter what angle you view it from, it’s an incredible video as the rocket touches with such precision that it looks like something straight out of a sci-fi film.

“We just had an incredible day today,” Musk said during a live broadcast of the launch. “The first reflight of an orbital class booster did its mission perfectly, dropped off the second stage, came back and landed on the drone ship, right in the bullseye. It is an amazing day I think for space as a whole for the space industry. It means you can fly and refly an orbit-class booster, which is the most expensive part of the rocket.”

SpaceX also uploaded a few images to Flickr to go along with the release of the footage. 

Image: Spacex/Flickr

Oh, and this wasn’t just a simple launch-and-land (as much as something like that can be, you know, simple). The rocket also successfully deployed the SES-10 communication satellite to geostationary transfer orbit. 

This particular Falcon 9 rocket launched in April 2016 before the relaunch nearly a year later. SpaceX hopes to eventually reduce that year-long turn-around time between launches to make the process even more efficient. 

But, for now, just sit back and watch space history be made over and over again. 

WATCH: This electric skateboard is designed to glide like a snowboard

Blue Origin reveals the ‘New Glenn’ takeoff and landing sequence in new video

Blue Origin is working towards the first launch of its super heavy-lift rocket, the New Glenn. Bezos’s rocket company just released a video showing how the rocket will launch and land. Spoiler: It’s a lot like SpaceX’s Falcon 9.

In the video embedded below, the rocket takes off from a pad close to a company facility and lands vertically on a large barge in a similar fashion to that used by SpaceX. Though in this animated video, the landing barge appears to be built on a ship that can house a crew. SpaceX’s barge is unmanned and autonomous.

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This video is part of a media tour for the rocket. Just yesterday Bezos revealed the BE-4 engine that will provide the lift for the large rocket. Today CEO Jeff Bezos revealed the company signed a contract with France-based TV provider Eutelsat to put a satellite in geostationary orbit sometime between 2021-2022.

SpaceX and Blue Origin are nearly engaged in a new space race albeit one without dire consequences. The two American companies are racing towards similar goals of sustainable space flight through the reuse of rockets that can be landed. Blue Origin beat SpaceX with the launch and landing of the New Shepard rocket in 2015 though SpaceX managed the same with a much-larger Falcon 9 in late 2015 and several times since including a few landings on a barge ship. Now both companies are reportedly aiming for the moon. This isn’t a zero-sum game; humanity wins if both companies win.